Center for American Progress

A Simple but Critical Fix Is Needed Now for the Nation’s Disability System
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A Simple but Critical Fix Is Needed Now for the Nation’s Disability System

Unless Congress acts, Rebecca Vallas and Shawn Fremstad write, the modest insurance benefits that Social Security Disability Insurance provides will be cut by 20 percent.

Social Security Disability Insurance, which provides basic but essential protection from income loss due to life-changing disability or illness for more than nine in 10 American workers and their families, is one of the cornerstones of our Social Security system. But according to projections issued by the Social Security trustees in late July, the Social Security Disability Insurance trust fund will run dry in late 2016.

Unless Congress acts, the modest insurance benefits that Social Security Disability Insurance provides—an average of about $1,140 a month, just over the federal poverty level for an individual—will be cut. Those cuts would slash benefits by 20 percent, across the board.

So Social Security Disability Insurance must be broken, right, and in need of a radical overhaul? That’s certainly what some conservative critics crave.

Wrong. The truth is, we’ve known for 20 years that this was coming. And a one-time, routine action is all that’s needed to ensure that Social Security can pay all promised benefits for the next two decades.

The above excerpt was originally published in National Journal. Click here to view the full article.

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Authors

Rebecca Vallas

Senior Fellow

Shawn Fremstad

Senior Fellow